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Turtle Cookies

These scratch made Turtle Cookies are filled with melted chocolate and toasted pecans then drizzled with warm caramel. They’re baked in a muffin pan to form a delicious cookie bowl to hold the ooey gooey turtle toppings.


Easy Turtle Cookies Recipe

How do you make Turtle Cookies? This recipe is made using a muffin pan giving them a cookie cup shape. First, make the cookie dough crust by creaming together softened butter, vanilla extract and sugar until fluffy and combined, Add one egg then lower the speed of the mixer and gradually add the sifted flour and salt. Press evenly into a non stick muffin and bake until golden. While the cookies are baking, make the turtle topping. Melt the chocolate chips and caramel bits in separate bowls per the recipe. Fill the cookie cups and sprinkle with toasted pecans then drizzle with the warm caramel per the recipe. Voila, a unique and addictive Turtle Cookie.


How to Make the Best Turtle Cookies Recipe

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Turtle Cookies: All purpose flour, butter, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, salt, large egg, caramel bits or Kraft caramel squares, heavy cream, milk chocolate chips or melting wafers and chopped toasted pecans.
  • Kitchen Tools you’ll need: Regular-sized 12 cup muffin pan, pastry tamper or you can use a small jar or a shot glass, large mixing bowl, measuring cups and spoons, a hand mixer or a stand mixer, rubber spatula and cooling rack.
  • To test the dough, squeeze some of the dough, and if it holds together it’s good to go.
  • If using salted butter, omit the ¼ teaspoon salt.
  • Baking spray (the one with flour) tends to work better than regular cooking spray. In a pinch, you could butter and flour the muffin cups just as you would when baking a cake .
  • One thing you can do when using butter to grease the pans is; to use the butter wrapper to avoid getting butter on your hands.
  • After baking, it’s important to allow ample time for the cookie crust to settle and begin to cool. Don’t try and remove the cookies from the pan too quickly as they won’t be set up and will be more likely to crumble.
  • Ghirardelli milk chocolate melting wafers would be a wonderful alternative to milk chocolate chips and they melt easily, too.
  • Substitution – If you find that Caramel bits aren’t available  you can use unwrapped Kraft caramels to make the caramel drizzle for the tops. You would likely need to start with around 20. You can always melt more caramel, if needed.
  • Adding the cream to the caramel bits helps to soften the texture and makes it easy to drizzle while allowing it to set up as it cools.
  • For a sweet and salty twist, you can sprinkle flaked sea salt on top of the cookie cups after drizzling with caramel, if desired.
  • For this recipe when the caramel sets up, it gets fairly firm (like the caramel in a turtle). It’s not like a caramel sauce or ice cream topping. If you think you’d prefer a thinner caramel You could use a quality store bought caramel sauce or ice cream topping like Ghirardelli’s or Smuckers. However, those caramels will be more likely to run off the tops of the cookies. I wouldn’t recommend adding that type of caramel until right before serving.
  • You can gently reheat these baked Turtle Cookies in the microwave for a few seconds if you’d like to enjoy them warm after you make them.
  • The milk chocolate and pecans were specifically chosen to mimic the flavor profile of a turtle. You could cashews or walnuts to change up the flavor profile.
  • Allow the cookies to cool completely on a cooling rack then store in an airtight container chilled for up to 5 days or at room temperature for up to 3 days. Allow the cookies to come to room temperature for serving.
  • You can also freeze these cookies for up to 2 months.

More Easy Cookie Recipes to Make




Helpful Kitchen Items:


Turtle Cookies

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time16 minutes
Cooling time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 31 minutes
Course: Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: turtle-cookie-recipe, turtle-cookies, tutle cookie cups
Servings: 24 servings
Calories: 232kcal


  • Cookie Dough:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour plus 1/2 tsp salt
  • Turtle Topping:
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup soft caramel bits
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 cup chopped pecans toasted


  • To make the Cookie Dough: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray the wells of two standard size muffin pans with baking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl use an electric mixer to cream together butter, powdered sugar, granulated sugars and vanilla. Beat on medium speed to 2 minutes. Add the egg beating until fully incorporated.
  • Lower the speed of the mixer and gradually add the flour and salt. Mix just until combined and fully moistened. The mixture may be a little crumbly. 
  • Using a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon, add 2 Tablespoons of dough to each well. Press evenly onto the bottom and halfway up the sides using a pastry tamper or a shot glass. Bake for 14-16 minutes or just until lightly browned.
  • Immediately after removing from the oven use the pastry tamper or shot glass again to gently and slowly press the centers of the cookies to create a small indentation for the chocolate filling.
  • Let the cookies cool for about 5-10 minutes in the pan then carefully remove them by using a butter knife or offset icing spatula to help lift them out of the wells. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • To toast the Pecans: Spread chopped pecans on a sheet pan in a single layer. Toast along with the cookies for 6-8 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  • To make the Turtle Topping: In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate chips with the vegetable shortening in 30 second increments stopping each time to stir. Repeat in 20-30 second increments until smooth.
  • Drizzle about 1 Tablespoon of melted chocolate into each cookie cup and top with about 1 Tablespoon of pecans. Press down lightly on the nuts with the back of a spoon to set.     
  • In a small microwave safe bowl, melt the caramel bits and heavy cream in 20-30 second increments, stopping to stir each time. Repeat until smooth. Drizzle the caramel over the pecans.              
  • Allow the cookies to cool completely on a cooling rack then store in an airtight container chilled for up to 5 days or at room temperature for up to 3 days.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 232kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 27mg | Potassium: 38mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 286IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg
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    1. I would think it would be the same as using an ice cream topping. I wouldn’t advise that you drizzle them until you’re ready to serve them as it will not harden and cause the cookies to soften.

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